Mixed crop–livestock systems are the backbone of African agriculture, providing food security and livelihood options for hundreds of millions of people. Much is known about the impacts of climate change on the crop enterprises in the mixed systems, and some, although less, on the livestock enterprises. The interactions between crops and livestock can be managed to contribute to environmentally sustainable intensification, diversification and risk management. There is relatively little information on how these interactions may be affected by changes in climate and climate variability.

According to the most recent IPCC report, changes in climates over the last 30 years have already reduced global agricultural production in the range 1-5 % per decade globally, with particularly negative effects for tropical cereal crops such as maize and rice.

The focus of the great majority of climate change impact studies is on changes in mean climate. In terms of climate model output, these changes are more robust than changes in climate variability. By concentrating on changes in climate means, the full impacts of climate change on biological and human systems are probably being seriously underestimated. Here, we briefly review the possible impacts of changes in climate variability and the frequency of extreme events on biological and food systems, with a focus on the developing world.

We estimate the potential reductions in methane and carbon dioxide emissions from several livestock and pasture management options in the mixed and rangeland-based production systems in the tropics.

The livestock sector globally is highly dynamic. In developing countries, it is evolving in response to rapidly increasing demand for livestock products. In developed countries, demand for livestock products is stagnating, while many production systems are increasing their efficiency and environmental sustainability.

The impacts of climate change are expected to be generally detrimental for agriculture in many parts of Africa. Overall, warming and drying may reduce crop yields by 10

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